The Wisconsin Veterans of Foreign Wars offers outreach and assistance to veterans and military families as well as their local communities.
The links below show just a few of the ways that Wisconsin VFW works not only for Veterans, but for their friends and neighbors in their own communities.
At the turn of the 20th century, the founders of the Veterans of Foreign Wars created an organization that would honor and serve veterans and perpetuate the values and ideals for which those veterans had served. Although men of vision, it is doubtful they could imagine the millions of Americans impacted today by the VFW’s youth, scholarship and recognition programs. Every year, tens of thousands of students participate in the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition and the Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest, garnering more than $3.5 million in scholarships and incentives.
Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest
Patriot’s Pen gives 6th, 7th and 8th grade students the opportunity to express their opinion on a patriotic theme and improve their writing skills, while they compete for awards and prizes. Cumulatively, the awards provided from all levels of the competition are around $1.3 million each year. Each First Place Department (state) winner competes for $92,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds at the national level with the first place winner receiving a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond in Washington, D.C., in early March each year.
Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) started the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition in 1946. The Veterans of Foreign Wars became a national sponsor in the late 1950s and assumed sole responsibility for the program in 1961. Many notables have participated in the Voice of Democracy including journalist Charles Kuralt, Miss America Anita Bryant and former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. The Voice of Democracy competition provides high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors the opportunity to write and record an audio essay on a patriotic theme, competing for more than $2.2 million in college scholarships and incentives. First Place Department (state) winners are brought to Washington, D.C., in early March to enjoy our nation’s capital and compete for $151,000 in scholarships — first place receiving a $30,000 scholarship.
Scout of the Year Scholarships
Annually, the Veterans of Foreign Wars recognizes three individuals: Eagle Scouts, Venture Silver Award recipients or Sea Scout Quartermasters who have risen above their peers in exemplifying the exceptional qualities of that rank with the following:
- $5,000 1st place scholarship
- $3,000 2nd place scholarship
- $1,000 3rd place scholarship
To be eligible for the award, the candidate must:
- Be a registered, active member of a Boy Scout Troop, Venturing Crew or Sea Scout Ship.
- Be the recipient of the Eagle Scout Award, Venture Silver Award, or Quartermaster Award.
- Have demonstrated exemplary citizenship in school, Scouting, and community.
- Have reached his or her 15th birthday and be enrolled in high school at the time of selection.
Applicants still in high school who reach their 18th birthday during the nomination year remain eligible if otherwise qualified. A Scout may enter through only one VFW Post. A local Wisconsin Post can be identified by town name on our Post Directory
Teacher of the Year
VFW launched the National Citizenship Education Teacher Award in 1999 to recognize classroom teachers for promoting citizenship education. Three teachers from each level (grades K-5, 6-8 & 9-12) will be selected as national winners. Each national award teacher winner receives the Past Commander-in-Chief John Smart Award and $1,000.00. Their respective schools also receive a $1,000.00 award. They receive a paid trip to a VFW national event to receive their award.